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PDI read-along takes center stage in PH-US humanitarian mission in Albay


LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—More than 3,000 children trooped to a series of reading activities on the first three days of the six-day PH-US Pacific Angel humanitarian mission in Albay province, an official of the Philippine Navy said Thursday.
Lieutenant Darwin Nieva, spokesman of the Joint Task Force Bayanihan, said the prototype for their “Kiddie Corner and Feeding” program was the read-along of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which was a partner during the anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy last year.
Nieva said the children’s corners in four designated sites were packed with kids who sat through six reading sessions held each day per site.
The sites, he said, included central Bayanihan in Barangay (village) Tagas and the Binitayan Elementary School, both in Daraga town, and the two mobile sites in the towns of Guinobatan and Sto. Domingo.
Initiated by volunteers from the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Daraga chapter and the Dios Mabalos Po Foundation, the program catered to children whose elders had waited in line for the medical and dental services at the sites.
Young professionals, businessmen, US doctors and Air Force personnel served as the storytellers who interacted with the children in the reading event while the Dios Mabalos Po Foundation took charge of the feeding program.
Lt. Colonel Augusto Gaite of the Philippine Air Force, a key player in the mission, said at the start of the mission on Monday that at least 99 US soldiers had put up a tent hospital in this city with over 700 residents of Albay availing themselves of the free medical and dental services.
More than 10,000 residents of Albay were expected to benefit from the mission, said Lt. Col. Michael Black  of the US Air Force and head of Pacific Angel.
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